2022-2023 Innovation Scholars Information

Innovation Scholars (IS) programming provides liberal arts students from Minnesota’s private colleges and universities the unique opportunity to engage in the business development processes of new medical innovations in real time. Programs broaden interdisciplinary learning opportunities by exploring innovations at the intersection of science, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. Multidisciplinary teams of four undergraduate students led by masters-level graduate student team leaders work in a hybrid format to complete team projects identified by Mayo Clinic and early-stage medical companies focusing on challenges associated with commercialization of healthcare innovations, products, and ideas. Teams present their findings in the form of business plans, presentations, or specific deliverables requested by participating start-up companies or Mayo Clinic.   

Carleton’s 2022-2023 Project

Carleton has been assigned a project originating from Mayo Clinic (IS: Mayo Clinic). All participating students, faculty and staff will sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to protect the intellectual property of Mayo Clinic. Each undergraduate student on the team receives a $1500 stipend. Teamwork occurs between the end of October and beginning of March in a hybrid format with each student investing approximately 150-160 hours into the team project.  The experience culminates with a presentation of the team’s research and recommendations in the form of a business plan or other requested deliverables to the inventors and project managers. Teams gain valuable insights and experience in the process of product development and moving innovations to the marketplace.

Important Dates:

  • October 3, 2022, 3pm – Application Deadline. Apply.
  • October 27, 2022, 12:00-5:00pm – MANDATORY orientation at Mayo Clinic. Students will receive an overview of the program, review roles, responsibilities, best practices, and meet with their team as well as their Mayo Project Manager.
  • Winter Break & Winter Term – Students, their Graduate Team Leader and faculty mentors meet as teams research and explore their project.
  • March 3, 2023– Present a final recommendation in the form of a business plan to the inventors and project managers at Mayo Clinic.

Discover additional information about Innovation Scholars, or we also encourage you to talk with Carleton’s faculty mentors, Debby Walser-Kuntz (Biology), Matt Rand (Biology) and Ethan Struby (Economics), or campus liaison, Sara Nielsen, about this exciting opportunity. 

History of the Program (formerly known as Mayo Innovation Scholars Program (MISP))

The Mayo Innovation Scholars Program (MISP) was launched in 2006 and is available to students at several private colleges in Minnesota, including Carleton.  In the processes of clinical practice and conducting research, Mayo Clinic scientists develop new products that may be marketable. These products are submitted to the Mayo Clinic Ventures Office for a thorough investigation of its technology and its marketability. Each year, MISP teams are assigned projects for investigation and research with formal presentations at Mayo Clinic in March.

The Innovation Scholars programs, the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program (MISP) and Innovation Partners (IP), are a collaboration between Mayo Clinic, Medical Alley, and selected Minnesota private colleges and universities.  Multidisciplinary teams of four undergraduate students analyze innovations submitted by researchers at Mayo Clinic or from early-stage biomedical companies and make recommendations on next steps. These projects contain real-world challenges associated with development and commercialization of innovations.

MISP was developed by the Mayo Clinic and John Meslow, a retired Medtronic executive, with support from the Medtronic Foundation and Mayo Clinic. The program has three main objectives:

  1. To assist Mayo’s Office of Intellectual Property in the evaluation of new product submissions by Mayo inventors,
  2. To provide research internship opportunities for undergraduate science and business students, and
  3. To provide leadership development for graduate students.  

Each team is led by a master’s level graduate student, advised by a project manager, and supported by campus mentors.  Teamwork occurs between the end of October and beginning of March in a hybrid format with each student investing approximately 150-160 hours into the team project.  The experience culminates with a presentation of the team’s research and recommendations in the form of a business plan or other requested deliverables to the inventors and project managers. Teams gain valuable insights and experience in the process of product development and moving innovations to the marketplace.